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The Importance of a Decisive Project Manager

By Bisk
Importance of a Decisive Project Manager

Every business organization’s success depends on the strength of its leadership. The more project manager skills a company’s leaders have, the greater its success. For project managers, the greater their skill set, the more valuable they are to employers.

What Project Manager Skills Do Employers Want?

Perhaps you want to advance in your project manager career, or you’re looking for new project management job opportunities. Either way, you need to know what project manager skills employers want – because the job market is as competitive as it’s ever been.

Effective Decision-Making

Of all project manager skills, the ability to make important business decisions is perhaps the most valuable. Strong decision-making skills are necessary to weigh the available options and choose the best course of action. Indecisiveness or poor decisions can put the brakes on a project – and your career.

Decision-Making Styles

Most individuals fall along a spectrum between being completely decisive or indecisive. Here are a few examples:

  • Completely decisive  Great leaders are often portrayed with the ability to make excellent decisions quickly in every situation.
  • Analyze first, then decide  This leader’s decision-making style is more analytical. Some project managers insist on having all the facts before they make a decision, no matter how long data-gathering takes.
  • Analysis paralysis  Project managers who suffer from this syndrome can’t reach a decision, even when presented with all the criteria. They are decisive only when forced by deadlines or emergencies.

Adapting to Situations

Strong project managers adjust their decisiveness level to each situation. For example, if an employee on your project requests a week off, you probably wouldn’t ask the company CEO’s permission. You’d analyze workloads and deadlines, and either approve or deny the request accordingly.

Other decisions require careful consideration and consensus among stakeholders. If that same employee proposed canceling or indefinitely postponing the project, it’s not likely you alone would make that decision. You’d consult everyone affected – including the company CEO.

Other Valuable Project Manager Skills

Along with decisiveness, successful project managers typically have steady dispositions, good listening skills and a knack for motivating others. Excellent communication, conflict-resolution, negotiation and organization abilities are all project manager skills valued highly by employers.

Project managers must have creativity, vision and energy, too. They usually need to keep several balls in the air at once while building consensus and keeping their project teams happy. It’s clear that a skilled project manager is a well-rounded leader.

Skilled Project Managers Are Priceless

Companies may have difficulty fulfilling sales and profit goals, efficiency and productivity objectives, and shareholder expectations without the leadership of skilled project managers. Here are just a few ways project management skills are vital to a business’s health:

  1. Keeping projects on schedule
  2. Delivering on customer expectations
  3. Maintaining product or service quality
  4. Fostering a strong company culture
  5. Helping staff succeed in their roles
  6. Keeping costs on budget
  7. Contributing to company profits

The Other Side of the Coin: Unskilled Project Managers

Not all project managers are decisive, inspiring leaders. When necessary project manager skills are lacking, morale and productivity can drop, along with sales and profits.

Characteristics of unskilled project managers include:

  • Lack of awareness, or “tunnel vision” – When a leader takes a very narrow view of a situation, it can hinder success.
  • No vision – Unskilled project managers only see things from a day-to-day perspective.
  • Self-focus – Project management is not all about the leader; the driving forces behind decisions are the team, the project and the company’s objectives.
  • Bad listeners – Poor project managers miss non-verbal cues, misinterpret what others say or interrupt to inject their own thoughts before others have a chance to express themselves.
  • Road blockers – Unskilled project managers put obstacles in the way, rather than removing them. They block others’ success – which prevents their own.

Decisive and Skilled Project Managers Are in Demand

Successful project managers build strong teams to carry a project from inception to completion. They develop a variety of project manager skills, inspire trust and foster the growth and success of their teams and their companies.

Project Management Training Programs

Project managers can master good decision making strategies through training programs offered online. Villanova University offers 100% online project management certificate programs that are delivered via a flexible, video-based e-learning platform. Villanova has earned a reputation as the leading provider of project management education online.

Professionals explore critical topics in Villanova’s Certificate in Applied Project Management program. In addition to gaining decision-making skills, students enrolled in Villanova’s online project management programs also prepare for industry certification as a PMP® or CAPM® – which can lead to expanded career opportunities and more successful projects.

PMP® is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

Category: Project Management